By: Staff writer
UK company Menzies Aviation will now continue with ground handling operations at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) until at least 4 July, the Namibia Airports Company has announced.
Menzies and the preferred bidder have been locked in an intense courtroom battle over the ground handling operations at the national airport, in which Menzies had filed an urgent application, arguing that vacating the premises immediately as was ordered by the Supreme Court, would be a “disaster.”
“Menzies will continue to provide ground handling services at HKIA in the intervening period, pending delivery of judgement after the hearing that is scheduled to take place on 4 July 2023, as more fully set out in the foregoing. Kindly take note that we will continue to update all stakeholders regarding the outcome of the envisaged court proceedings on 4 July 2023,” NAC boss Bisey /Uirab stated on Thursday.
Menzies was previously meant to cease performing ground handling operations at HKIA on 12 June 2023, while Paragon was set to commence rendering ground handling services at HKIA on 13 June 2023.
On Thursday morning, Judge Shafimana Ueitele postponed the case to Tuesday, 4 July 2023 for a hearing in respect of the underlying merits of the matter, such as the substantive dispute between the parties vis-à-vis the case forming the subject matter.
The company, represented by Advocate Raymond Heathcote, required NAC and Paragon to file their respective notices opposing Menzies’ legal proceedings by 17:00 p.m. on Monday, whereas they set the matter down for hearing 30 minutes thereafter, i.e., 17:30 p.m.
Lawyer Sisa Namandje on behalf of Paragon Investments, however, argued that they needed more time to peruse the documents filed by Menzies Aviation, eventually leading to the judgement at hand.
“In the interim, Menzies will also be afforded an opportunity to file a Replying Affidavit to the Answering Affidavits that will be filed by NAC and Paragon, after which all parties, i.e Menzies, Paragon and NAC will file their respective Heads of Argument well before the hearing date for the judge’s consideration in substantively adjudicating the case on the merits,” /Uirab stated.
Menzies began ground handling operations at HKIA in January 2014, on a five-year agreement with the NAC, after which it was extended from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021.
In January last year, the two parties further agreed to an extension using an addendum for six months, with an end date of 30 June 2022.